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EU threatens power blockades in no-deal Brexit - by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

"The EU has threatened to cut off "top-up access" from the European electricity and gas pipelines in the case of a no-deal Brexit, " according to the Telegraph's Business Editor.

"There is now an overt linkage between full fishing access to UK waters and the continuation of normal energy flows through the interconnectors, even though the issues have nothing in common and energy supply is a sensitive matter of national security and would normally be off limits in such talks.".

In meeting and overcoming this challenge, Britain has its own hand of cards to play. "In the highly unlikely event of no interconnector flows between Great Britain and continental Europe we have the tools and capabilities to ensure security of supply," according to the National Grid.

"We have one of the reliable energy systems in the world," according to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. "‘The UK’s exit from the EU will not alter the fact that our energy system is secure and supplied from diverse sources.”

Furthermore, "If the EU dialled down power supply, the UK could switch to imported gas at minor expense. European power exporters such as France’s nuclear group EDF would lose their market share to Qatar or the US and lose their UK export revenues."

“They would be cutting off their nose to spite their faces,” said a trade expert close to the negotiations. “What this tells me is that the EU is getting very worried about the direction of Brexit talks.”

"As a bargaining chip, access to the EU energy market is an odd card to play. Energy is a commodity that countries usually strive to import at the cheapest possible price, and export at the highest price. It is unlike other traded goods that compete with home-grown producers, and therefore where issues such as state aid and the “level-playing field” become relevant.

The EU démarche makes no economic sense. The claim that the EU must protect the sanctity of the single market for energy in this context is palpably absurd. It appears to be nothing more than hardball pressure tactics."

The full article is enclosed here in pdf and links to the original below it.

EU hints at a Brexit
Download PDF • 123KB

Sir John Redwood also had something to say in his diary dated 16.11.20 in this article entitled "New Energy Policy". Here it is in pdf:

Article entitled - New Energy Policy - f
Download • 33KB

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